Sunday, 29 November 2009

there are too few blogs around...

... and so I created two more.

1. Gesa Helms Art at

is just that... some of my art, for sale. Just in time for Christmas shopping I realised that I will be near all my prints, sketches and paintings, so I could put them up for sale. I've stuck with a fairly simple format - something which etsy to this date isn't. Blog posts link to flickr sets, currently of the plein air sketches and the monotypes with the offer of a paypal buy now button. There will be more additions.

Simple? I hope. Persuasive? I hope so too.

2. New blog number 2 is my learning blog at

Well, it's for learning - more specifically it is going to be my learning log for the OCA courses I am doing. As you may know, I've been printmaking 1 for a while and earlier this month I signed up to the drawing 1 course. The learning log for printmaking is mainly kept offline, which has proven more tedious and less enjoyable than I hoped. So - paint and pastel: study will try out learning as voyeuristic online experience. It's going to be a bit tedious - with specific assignments etc, so I decided to keep most of the OCA material away from this blog. It seems that I'm never really short of material to write about, so a separate blog for learning may work best.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

So, he took the time with him

... but before that, he told me, some fifteen years ago that I would go and publish books. I just laughed: 'dream on!' But he should be right. He never published a book of his own. I think he should have one, and so he now has one - as My ghost of time.

Two weeks ago, when I was clearing my office I came across a lot of his writings though. Pieces about the Yugoslav war, the politics of education, the need to organise. Along with some grainy photos of him, H., and several others staging the occupation of university buildings in 1993.

I realised that I am now the age he was when I left him to go to Glasgow. The 13 years that happened since are such a long time. It's so much that happened inbetween to make me the person I am now. So, he lost me to Glasgow and I would lose him to the sea - a week before I had to defend my PhD in 2003.

That's all a long time ago. And I learned a lot:
  • to look and observe carefully
  • the importance of ordinariness
  • that one can know things without having to discuss these; but one must never stop
  • asking questions; and
  • the believe in all of the above and thus in people

Now, I've been trying to figure what he may have learned from me. Well, I think I, in my youthful optimism, frustrated him often and with no end. If I can't help myself, I turn to superficiality, and I turned to it very often in those days. But I think he may have learned that optimism can apply to oneself and one's past, too.

That's my ghost of time.

Now: this little piece of performance art was a fascinating experience. And a completely unanticipated one. I let Blogger autopost something that was written one evening (31 July 2009) while sitting in the White Room in Berlin and despairing over the loss of time. So, it was me and it wasn't.

As it was unfolding, I was getting the sense of separation/mediation/transformation of something that was done and that happened a while (and a long time) ago. All the time, it was happening 'live' to all of you.


There's also much more alongside this, which became a bit clearer to me:

Much of what I make art of is concerned with loss and memory - the Fields and the Sea. And all the same, they become something else in the process; they aren't melancholy pieces, by any means; while only I. had read My ghost of time at the time I - eh, Merle - wrote it - and I for some time wasn't sure if it would see the light of day by any means, watching it unfold from behind my laptop felt very good and necessary.

And then there's something about people that matter: it's a bit vague at this stage, but has to do with 'doing the things that are important with the people that are important' - it's really basic, isn't it? To have the best kind of relationship with the people that matter; and it's only of partial importance whether they are alive or dead.

Back to the performance art: while Blogger was doing its thing, I begun to soak up contemporary art, in the space that is now open and in front of me. I got to think back at the Note to future self; asking what kind of art may I make in future. Oh: and that is sooo open, I love it. I don't have a clue what I may make. How fabulous is that!

Do you want to read/see My ghost of time in its entirety: on the sidebar is now a link to a full preview of the book on Blurb.

... and with all this, I've clawed some time back.
Time I never own; time which may be short.
But that is never a good enough reason not to.
I'm very sure of that.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Friday, 20 November 2009

Thursday, 19 November 2009

[placeholder + image]

i thought i'd spare you the whimsical one aka My Ghost of time [6] - rhyming time with mine, involving travel and slowness.

you'll get the picture for it though. and there'll be two more to come [i think]

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Monday, 9 November 2009

A moment in time

A moment in time and all folds inward

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Suddenly it's time


He took the time with him

That moment in the stormy sea,

and all time disappeared.

Time for the future                                                                            
time for the past

Simply being in time
with no need for it
no urgency.

That all went with him

Since then there was never any time left.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

mist on the river

mist on the river.
on the meadow. trees floating
& an almost full moon.
Aberfeldy to Pitlochry.
"I gonna show you paradise"
says the spider
to the fly.
"I want to make you stay".
Cerys Matthews.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

in stillness

a bit of clarity and reflection on the loch's surface
just a moment long

the few seconds before the rain begins